Friday, May 20, 2011

What We Are Missing--Two Great Books and Two Great Historians

Yes, I am tired. Yes, I am ready for the summer break. However, I hate to see my Modern World Humanities class come to an end.  Just this morning I was thinking of two great books written about early 20th century events that my students need to read and that I need to read again.  Both were written when I was a very young child in the early 1960s.  I did not disover them until years later.  Both authors are great narrative historians.  Both books are written with the page-turning draw of an action novel.  Both are panaramic coverages of great events in history.  Both are relevant to understand the world we live in.

Alas, we do not even have the time to watch the fine historical documentary of The Guns of August, nor the well done movie account of Nicholas and Alexandra.

Barbara Tuchman was one of the best historical writers of recent times.  The Guns of August won her a Pulitizer Prize and many readers.  The book has remained in print from 1962 to the present.  It should be on any history teacher's short list of vital books about the 20th century and World War I. 

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